The Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities has delivered six research reports to help build a country better equipped to handle disasters caused by natural hazards and extreme weather events.
This Special report updates and builds on the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience & Safer Communities’ previous estimates of the costs of natural disasters with new, more comprehensive data and extends the analysis to estimate costs under different climate change scenarios.
Key findings from the report:
- Even under a low emissions scenario, the cost of natural disasters in Australia is estimated to increase to $73 billion per year by 2060. This is significantly higher than the $39 billion per year by 2050 reported in 2017.
- In 2020, annual average costs of natural disasters are only 0.02% larger than the low emissions scenario. But under a high emissions scenario – where emissions reach 3° Celsius above pre-industrial levels just after 2060 – the estimated costs per year are $94 billion. That represents a 29% increase relative to the low emissions scenario.
- Even if a low emission scenario is achieved, the cost of natural disasters is forecast to be $1.2 trillion in cumulative costs over the next forty years.
- Two thirds of the costs from natural disasters will be in incurred in QLD and NSW over the next forty years as they become more exposed to tropical cyclones and floods, as warming oceans enable tropical cyclones to move further south.
- Costs in Melbourne and Brisbane will increase significantly, as major rivers in these cities alongside growing populations will lead to greater costs associated with flooding for Melbourne and tropical cyclones and floods for Brisbane.
Released October 2021
This report considers the total economic cost of natural disasters in each state and territory, finding that the forecast cost of natural disasters will reach $39 billion annually by 2050.
This report considers challenges for disaster resilience in the states and territories, and the role of each government in collaboration with other jurisdictions, community and business.
- Confirms that further investment in disaster resilience – in both physical and community preparedness – is essential to lessen the forecast increase in costs.
- Finds that investment in disaster resilience yields a double dividend. First, in the avoided impacts of disasters when they occur. And second, in the broader co-benefits that arise even in the absence of a disaster.
- Shows that state and territory governments have several levels to directly build resilience.
Released November 2017
In March 2016, the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities released ‘The Economic Cost Of The Social Impact Of Natural Disasters’.
The Economic Cost of the Social Impact of Natural Disasters (2016), expands on the Roundtable’s White Paper Building our Nation’s Resilience to Natural Disasters by valuing some of the broader social impacts of natural disasters to better understand the total cost of such disasters in Australia.
The report makes four key recommendations:
- Pre- and post-disaster funding should better reflect the long-term nature of social impacts
- A collaborative approach involving government, business, not-for-profits and community is needed to address the medium- and long-term economic costs of the social impacts of natural disasters
- Governments, businesses and communities need to further invest in community resilience programs that drive learning and sustained behaviour change
- Further research must be done into ways of quantifying the medium- and long-term costs of the social impacts of natural disasters
Released 2 March 2016
In March 2016, the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities released 'Building Resilient Infrastructure'.
Building Resilient Infrastructure (2016) investigates the decision-making process for new ‘hard’ infrastructure assets in light of disaster risks, including the various Australian and state guidelines for comparing project options through cost-benefit analysis. It also builds the case for embedding resilience considerations into this process, and offers practical steps to do so.
Released 2 March 2016
In July 2014, the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities released, 'Building an Open Platform for Natural Disaster Resilience Decisions', extending the work of the Roundtable's previous White Paper, 'Building our Nation's Resilience to Natural Disasters', which identifies information asymmetries as inhibiting the progress of effective disaster resilience.
Building an Open Platform for Natural Disaster Resilience Decisions (2014) provided an overview of natural disaster data and research in Australia, and reinforced the need for better coordination and transparency of disaster risk and resilience information. The report recommended adopting an approach to drive three outcomes:
- Efficient and open – deliver a national platform for foundational data
- Transparent and available – remove barriers to accessing data and research
- Enabling effective decision-making – establish a prioritisation framework
Released 16 July 2014
In June 2013, the Australian Business Roundtable for Disaster Resilience and Safer Communities released a fact-based, comprehensive White Paper, Building our Nation's Resilience to Natural Disasters, through Deloitte Access Economics.
Building our Nation’s Resilience to Natural Disasters (2013) reviewed the economics of mitigating disaster risks facing Australian communities. It identified opportunities for greater coordination between governments, businesses and communities in managing pre-disaster resilience, including carefully targeted mitigation investments. The report offered three key recommendations:
- Improve coordination of pre-disaster resilience by appointing a National Resilience Advisor and establishing a Business and Community Advisory Group
- Commit to long-term annual consolidated funding for pre-disaster resilience
- Identify and prioritise pre-disaster investment activities that deliver a positive net impact on future budget outlays.
Released 20 June 2013